A Letter to Student Photographers

There has been lots of discussion about that student that ruined that couple's wedding. I agree that they got what they paid for, but it's not because she's a student-- it's that she had no photography experience! Let's not give student photographers a bad name just because we're young. Some of my favorite photographers like Katelyn James Alsop started as a college wedding photographer!

 

But I do think that this is a good learning experience as President of the USC Photography Club to make sure my members don't do anything like that to a couple! I know some students would be eager to jump at this, underestimating how much a wedding actually entails.

 

Here is what I have to say to student photographers just starting out, and want to start charging:

 

Dear you,

 

Congrats on taking the first steps of getting paid for your awesome work! I know it seems scary, but here are a few things to help you out.

 

First, find a mentor! There are many wonderful local photographers who are willing to teach you or let you tag along on their sessions. Don't be afraid to reach out and ask to join them :) That's how I got my start!

 

Secondly, test it out before you start charging crazy amounts. People will get upset if they spend big money or ask you to shoot an important event and you mess up. Start by testing your skills out on friends, and assist an event before shooting one (especially a wedding).

 

Lastly, when you're comfortable to start charging, don't undervalue yourself because you are worth it! From what I've learned, the cheap clients always want more than those who are willing to pay.

 

You got this! Good luck :) Feel free to drop any questions in the comments-- I'm here for you!

 

 

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